Imagine a scenario where a family is sitting at home, enjoying a nice cup of coffee in the evening, laughing and sharing when, all of a sudden, the dog starts barking outside. As soon as the family is alerted, enters a small man who is demanding cash and other valuables in the house. There is no problem in tackling him to the ground and handing him over to the cops, but because he has a 9mm pistol pointed at the family, no one dares take the risk and they all quietly and unwillingly submit to his will.
What, then, is the solution to all this mayhem? Is it the fault of the local economy? The government? The police? Who can be called on to prevent such activities from taking place almost daily? Well, some argue that the best way to protect yourself and your family is to carry a firearm yourself. When a similar situation arises, the balance of power is equal and there is an even field rather than being a one-sided affair.
Sure, it can be argued that this too is a wrong idea and the government should ban guns altogether, but people can still smuggle it in. There has to be a form of self-defense that one can wield in such a situation and without a weapon, you may be vulnerable.
Since keeping a firearm seems like the most viable solution, this review looks at the best 9mm pistols that can be chosen. This is because 9mm pistols are the most common type of pistols. These firearms are easy to carry and use. A short training period with a 9mm is enough for someone to be able to understand the dynamics of the weapon.
In addition, it is one of the more affordable firearms available as opposed to semi-automatic machine guns, which cost thousands of dollars. Plus, spare parts, repair and maintenance works can all be managed due to a high number of gun shops. The 9mm then becomes a feasible and practical option to carry as a weapon for self-defense.
What Are 9mm Pistols?
The 9mm, as the name suggests, is a handgun which features a bullet with a 9-millimeter diameter. It is also semi-automatic, which means there is no need to reload with each shot fired, chambered for 9x19mm Parabellum rounds.
A 9mm is a strong weapon and has enough potential to fire up to a range of 1800 meters if fired properly. Although truth be told, most encounters for self-defense are close ones, so the 1800-meter range will seem irrelevant in such a situation. The weapon is obviously not as strong as a machine gun but can easily kill or, at the least, severely injure humans and animals, proving to be a great weapon for self-defense.
9mm Pistol Manufacturers
A 9mm is perhaps the most common weapon or handgun purchased in the United States and even across the world. It is relatively simple to understand the dynamics of this weapon and how to use it and offers enough functionality to be used as a concealed carry, as home defense, as a truck gun, for casual target shooting on a range and, of course, to protect in the face of a threat.
The 9mm is manufactured by many companies, the most famous being:
- Heckler and Koch
- SIG Sauer
- Smith and Wesson
All these top handgun 9mm manufacturers have been in the market for many years and have proven over time that their weapons are durable, reliable and accurate. It is always advisable, especially with guns, to purchase from a renowned manufacturer to ensure that the firearm does not cause any accidents and human error can be controlled.
Most cases where guns are fired unintentionally happen due to a lapse in human concentration and the consequences are tremendous. Thus, it is best to follow the safety instructions thoroughly or to get a safety tutorial before purchasing and carrying a firearm.
Review of the Best 9mm Pistols
9mm Pistol Beretta M9 Review
The Beretta M9 is a standard 9mm semi-automatic pistol. The company won the US military contract in 1985 and has since been renewing the contract, reinforcing that it is a reliable and durable weapon.
The Beretta M9 has been tested vigorously by the US military where it was tasked with the challenge to fire 10-shot rounds of 3 inches at 50m, which it passed with flying colors. It can even function when buried in snow or sand and works at temperatures ranging from -40 degrees Fahrenheit to more than 140 degrees Fahrenheit, which basically covers everything.
It features a 3-dot aim and a grip made with Brunton finish and military embossing, making the grip durable and sweat- and corrosion-resistant. It features a reversible magazine release as well.
The Beretta is very easy to disassemble and reassemble for cleaning purposes. It features a 9x19mm Parabellum cartridge, has a short action recoil and features 10, 15, 17, 18, 20 and 30 round magazines. It measures about 8.5 inches in length and works most effectively in the 50m range but has a maximum range of 100m.
9mm Taurus G2C Review
The 9mm Taurus G2C Luger is another high-quality 9mm semi-automatic pistol. It has been at the top for a long time, competing heavily with the Beretta M9. While the Beretta won over the US military, a lot of users still prefer to own a Taurus for self-defense and target shooting.
The Taurus G2C has a length of 6.5 inches. It features a 12-round capacity per magazine and uses a polymer grip. It comes with an adjustable 2-dot rear sight and a steel ramp front. The company offers 2 magazines with the purchase. This pistol is ambidextrous like the Beretta and features 4 different safety features, namely striker block, trigger safety, manual safety and loaded chamber indicator.
Taurus guns are prone to some issues, but because it is a budget brand and is not very expensive, it is somewhat justifiable.
The Taurus G2C is also a small and compact weapon, making it a lighter firearm to carry around with you everywhere you go. It is perfect as a concealed carry.
CZ P09 Review
The P09 is a product by CZ, which is considered as one of the top brands for handguns across the globe.
The CZ P9 is a 9mm semi-automatic pistol that comes with a polymer frame as well as a magazine capacity of 21+1 bullets. It offers double and single action and has fixed sights. It also features a safety ambidextrous decocker and comes with a customizable small, medium or large grip, whichever best suits the user.
It features threaded barrels and high suppressor sights with tritium lamps, giving it more suppressor-ready options. Furthermore, it features an integrated 1913 Picatinny rail, which allows the P09 to readily adapt to low-light situations.
Finally, the CZ P09 features a proven Omega trigger system, which is directly responsible for ensuring that the grip on the trigger is steady for the user and the trigger pulling mechanism is crisp and smooth. The Omega trigger system also aids in making the disassembly and reassembly of the gun much easier.
Smith and Wesson M&P 9 Shield 9mm Review
This weapon from Smith and Wesson is another great semi-automatic 9mm pistol to own for self-defense and target shooting. Smith and Wesson is another famous 9mm pistol manufacturer that has been in the market for a long time. This particular 9mm comes equipped with a Magpul Moe extension, which improves grip and lowers recoil levels of the gun.
It has a 7- and 8-round capacity, a striker action and an overall length of about 6.1 inches. It also has a polymer base and grip. The greatest additional feature here is Magpul Moe, which is an extension on the pistol, converting it into somewhat of a semi-automatic machine gun. It has an added grip and shoulder rest added from behind the frame of the gun, which is used for higher accuracy and more stability. It is also attached to the barrel of the gun, where other safety features come into play. This is a multi-purpose pistol and the add-on might suit many users.
Glock 19M 9mm Compact Pistol Review
The Glock 19M is another favorite among hardcore gun fans. It does a magnificent job on the range and for self-defense all while being safe to use and extremely durable.
The Glock 19M features a compact polymer frame, an ambidextrous side stop, safe action trigger, reversible magazine release, a long-lasting nDLC slide finish, standard 3-dot sight, and a modular backstrap system. It is about 7.3 inches long, and this particular product is an FBI edition Glock which comes equipped with an FBI night mode and a rounded magazine release.
The trigger on this firearm has integrated safety that must be pulled more than normal and an internal striker safety to prevent the gun from firing if dropped. The features on the Glock 19M offer improved accuracy, which is credited to the Marksmen Barrel included in this product. The nDLC finish is also wear- and corrosion-resistant.
The Glock 19M is a safe, easy-to-use firearm that is ranked among the very best in the world.
Sig Sauer P226 Review
The Sig Sauer P226 is a widely appreciated firearm across militaries, law enforcement agencies, and personal users. The company is renowned for providing high-quality, reliable and accurate weapons, and this one doesn’t disappoint either.
The P226 comes equipped with a Cerakote coating, which increases its durability, hardness and abrasion resistance. It has a special P-SAIT trigger, which is the perfect balance between a short base and a normal length of the trigger. It also features day and night X-ray sights.
With this gun, you will also get a reduced and contoured Elite beavertail for better grip and a reduced profile, thereby increasing accuracy. An additional solid steel guide rod adds important weight to the firearm.
The P226 is a durable and reliable product and uses special manufacturing for improved accuracy, making it a fan favorite among many users.
Colt 1911 Competition Series 70 Review
The Colt 1911 Competition Series 70 is a 9mm semi-automatic single-action pistol, which is magazine-fed and recoil-operated. It was the standard-issue sidearm for the US military up until 1986, while the company itself has been producing high-quality weapons since 1911.
The Colt Series 70 features a dual recoil spring system, national match barrel and Novak sight for improved accuracy. The sight comes with a fiber optic front and adjustable rear sight. Its design features a custom G10 blue grip, scallop texture and the Colt logo with a stainless steel metal finish and a Series 70 firing pin system.
The barrel length is about 5”, while it weighs in at around 36 oz. It also offers a 9+1 bullet capacity and a 9mm Luger. You also get additional sights, which are configurable and adjustable.
9mm Pistol Range
The range means how far the bullet of a 9mm travels when shot. Multiple factors are responsible for the range, so it will vary. These factors are ballistic coefficient, muzzle velocity, air temperature, angle shot, form factor and amount of gun powder. The drag effect is also present, which is the air resistance while the bullet travels, eventually killing the momentum of the bullet and putting it to a halt.
A 9mm can be shot up to a maximum distance of 2200 meters before it falls to the ground depending, of course, on the shooter and how well trained they are in the art of shooting. If you want to reach the maximum distance, you need to know more about the 9mm and how it works in order to improve your shooting ability.
9mm Pistol Parts
Every 9mm pistol is different from one another. Some are big, some have a different design and some are just cooler than others. Regardless of these differences, the basics remain the same. Before purchasing a handgun, it is important to understand what the machine is, how it works and how to maintain and clean it.
Pistols vary from manufacturer to manufacturer but cover similar bases for parts which are incorporated in them.
The barrel is the main part of the gun. It is straight rod-type shape which carries the bullet from the magazine (where it is stored) to the outside. The barrel lengths range from 15” to 18”. A variation in barrel length determines the speed and muzzle velocity of the bullet. Extending the barrel too much can lead to the bullet becoming slower, so if you want higher speeds, go for smaller barrels.
Spring coils are arguably one of the most important parts of a gun, without which a semi-automatic will not reload. The spring coil is situated between the barrel and upper receiver and is responsible for bringing the next bullet in queue from the magazine to the barrel, ready to shoot.
One thing to remember is that spring coils require timely maintenance and replacement. If the spring coil is not replaced in time and becomes rusty, it will slow down the process of how quickly a gun reloads and may even halt the firing process. Taking good care of the firearm will cause it to be effective and remain problem-free.
The upper receiver is where you will find the barrel, recoil pin and recoil spring. It is also used in some cases to reload the pistol by pulling it back.
The lower receiver can be called the main body of the firearm. It consists of the trigger assembly, magazine release, take-down lever, grip module and double-action hammer. The trigger assembly is responsible for firing the bullet. The magazine is where all the bullets are stored, while the magazine release comes into play when the magazine is empty to allow it to be reloaded. The grip module is also essential to ensure that the shooter has a stable grip and hits the target or at least close to it.
The lower receiver also features a safety switch, which blocks the trigger movement so that the bullet does not exit the firearm accidentally.
The magazine is situated under and inside the grip of a 9mm. Its main purpose is to store bullets. Another function of the magazine is to push forward the next bullet in queue so that the semi-automatic process keeps flowing smoothly unless, of course, the magazine becomes empty.
Magazines can be reloaded by pushing the magazine release button, which will eject the magazine from under the grip to be physically refilled.
As the name suggests, the trigger is supposed to be pulled to release the bullet from the chamber or magazine. Some triggers are hard, while some are soft. Both feature a safety option which ensures that a slight pull of the trigger does not fire. It has about a few centimeters of a free-flowing trigger, after which point the gun will shoot.
The aim is situated on top of the upper receiver right at the front. The aim for other guns varies, but with a 9mm, the aim features a simple space between which the target has to be. Always remember that the aim may not be exactly accurate, as recoil and other factors can take the bullet somewhere else.
These are basic functions and parts which can be found in almost any 9mm pistol available. They are fairly easy to understand for a beginner.
It is to be noted that these pistols are also easy to disassemble and put back together. Hence, cleaning, replacing or maintaining the parts of a 9mm gun is a simple task. However, it is recommended that a tutorial or the instruction manual is strictly followed to avoid any dangerous mishaps.
Additional Options for 9mm Pistols
There are many accessories that go along with your firearm that can help protect it or help you use it better and more safely and accurately. Below is a quick look at some popular add-ons, but for a full break down, see our Best Gun Accessories post we did recently.
9mm Pistol with Laser
Some pistols also come equipped with an add-on laser sight. The laser system is set near or under the upper receiver and acts as a target point for users. The laser can be any color and can come in different sizes and shapes if needed.
Lasers are not the most popular devices to add to a pistol. In some cases, experienced shooters do not advocate for the idea of a laser target because they feel that it is more of a target-based practice rather than an actual shooting practice.
The results, however, speak differently. In an experiment conducted, 3 different shooters were asked to shoot a target at about 100 meters with and without a laser to see the difference in their shooting and how well or poorly they performed. The results showed that the targets were more accurately hit when the laser was guiding the shooters as opposed to when it was not.
Shooting with a laser, therefore, is much more effective and accurate. As seen in movies too, all special operations personnel use laser sights from far distances to achieve better results. Like all things, they have both pros and cons.
- Untrained people can target and shoot accurately
- Great for beginners learning how to shoot to actively judge where the aim is and where the bullet actually ends up
- People with a poor eyesight can easily see where the target is and how to hit it
- It can aid people who are shooting in an unorthodox position to still achieve a certain degree of accuracy
Used by military and special operations personnel
- Works best in dark or low-lit areas
- Could fail to work with low batteries
- Difficult to see in broad daylight
- Very hard to stabilize as the laser is extremely sensitive to movement in the pistol
Essentially, having a laser sight mounted on your 9mm pistol has greater benefits than it has disadvantages. The laser can help beginners truly experience what accurate shooting is and they can adjust or troubleshoot themselves using the help of a laser.
However, if you are taking your 9mm for professional hunting, attaching a laser sight can be either beneficial or to your disadvantage depending on what kind of animal you are targeting. Some extremely smart animals might be notified by the light and run away.
Types of Lasers
There are 3 ways to attach the laser on a gun, each with a different experience and result. The following are the 3 ways:
- Mounted to or in front of the trigger guard
- Mount on the back strap near the grip
- Guide rod laser which is mounted underneath the barrel
Depending on which laser type is chosen, the aim of the gun, as well as the motion of the laser, may vary. Naturally, if the laser is placed at an angle that creates more vibration in a stationary position like underneath the barrel, the laser will be shakier than normal. It won’t be able to stabilize to a fixed position.
Similarly, if the laser is attached at an angle that is different from where the aim is like the mounting near the grip, it might give inexperienced users a false idea of where the aim is and can lead to poor accuracy.
In conclusion, using a laser sight is a good idea. It aids the shooter with the aim and has proved that even experienced shooters become more precise with the laser on rather than off. It is a great tool for beginners too. If you are an expert shooter, though, there is more than a small chance that your buddies will make fun of you for using an aiding tool.
9mm Pistol with Silencer
First and foremost, it is important to know that the term ‘silencer’ is not an exact representation of the feature and should be more accurately be described as a ‘suppressor.’ The suppressor is a muzzle device that reduces the acoustic intensity of the muzzle, thereby suppressing the sound that a bullet makes when it is fired. However, it is not 100% silent as the sound cannot physically be lowered unless there is a vacuum present, which is never the case.
Furthermore, not all pistols offer the facility to attach a silencer. Some common ones that do offer this feature, which is also reviewed in this article, are the Glock 17, Beretta M9 and CZ P10. Most other 9mm pistols do not have such a feature and, therefore, cannot attach silencers.
A silencer is a long cylindrical screw-on which attaches itself to the upper receiver on top of where the bullet will leave the gun from. It is supposed to be rolled onto it and fixes itself.
The purpose of a silencer is to achieve stealth mode when shooting. If the nature of the shooting is not for covert operations or hunting, a silencer is not really required. That is, unless the user has sensitive ears and prefers to keep their gun silent at the range.
Purchasing a silencer is a complicated ordeal. Firstly, it is not legal to purchase a silencer unless the state laws permit you to do so. Hence, it is advisable to check your state laws before considering a purchase. Furthermore, silencers cost a lot of money. Add taxes to the purchase of the device, and it can turn out to be highly expensive and not suitable for everyone to afford.
As mentioned before, the silencer does not completely zero out the noise of the bullet. Modern-day silencers can reduce the sound of the gunshot to 14.3-43 decibels, depending on certain factors. The quietest silencer is made by a company called SilencerCo, which produces silent and lightweight products.
A silencer is a cool and stealthy tool to own. It is especially helpful for hunting where the idea is not to alert potential prey around the vicinity. Moreover, modern-day silencers actually aid in aiming, and shooters can achieve greater accuracy and precision. This is because silencers nowadays do not come in direct contact with the bullet, so they only help reduce the muzzle sound and do not affect the aim.
The ease of access, affordability and usage of illegal or otherwise weapons brought into the country are making the lives of an average American unsafe and unreliable. Anyone with a simple pistol could change everything in the blink of a second. Therefore, as far as safety is concerned, it is recommended for people to own weapons but with responsibility.
Learning about how a gun works, what are its functions, being trained regarding maintenance and cleaning, and having proper licensing from the state is crucial. Ranges are available all across the United States for people to go and fulfill their passion and hobby where they can try out different guns, ranging from 9mm to machine guns and rifles. Ranges also allow a beginner to learn how to shoot so that they are better able to protect themselves.
9mm guns are easy to carry, affordable, safe for the household and easily maintainable for the general public. The best guns from a Beretta to a Colt are all viable options for self-defense, whether you are a novice or a pro shooter.
The best 9mm semi-automatic pistols for self-defense have been listed above along with all the added benefits and features you can get with a 9mm, ranging from silencers to lasers to how they can be best utilized and how a user can maximize its potential.
The editor’s choice for the best 9mm pistol goes to the Beretta M9, which is a durable, reliable, accurate, powerful and easy-to-use weapon. The cherry on top is how the M9 is styled. Its heritage adds further to its popularity. The design is sleek and the gun features everything that is needed in a firearm. Other great options to consider are the CZ P10 and the Glock 19M.